Budinger has a relaxing visit

For the first time Chase Budinger had a relaxing visit to Arizona. For the first time the staff and players did not try to sell him on the program. He was here just to watch McKale Madness and soak up the atmosphere. Budinger filled us in on what the weekend held.

The weekend started on Friday with a little pick-up. Budinger was not able to play last time he was in town as he was still nursing his injured wrist. Not only did he finally get to take the floor with his future teammates, but he more than held his own.

"It was fun," Budinger said. "It showed me things that I need to work on. It helped a lot. I wasn't too worried but now I know I can play with these guys. I wanted to see if I could hang with the best."

There's nothing like matching up with Hassan Adams, Jawann McClellan or Marcus Williams to test your mettle and Budinger showed the guys that he was worthy of joining the fold next season.

That night he and the other recruits in town got front row seats for McKale Madness. It was actually Budinger's second event, but he was still impressed with the festivities.

"It was a great environment," he noted. "I went to it last year so I sort of knew what to expect."

The rest of the weekend was spent just getting to know the players and the coaches. He was really welcomed into the fold and did what the rest of the team did.

"We went to the football game," Budinger said. "Mainly I just hung out with the guys and checked out the facilities some more. All of the guys are cool. There are no jerks on the team. I like the guys on the team a lot. I respect them a lot."

Since he is a firm commitment for the Cats, Budinger did not have to worry about the hard sell. Certainly the team wanted to make sure he was enjoying himself, but everything was at a leisurely pace. The coaches could interact with him as a player, not as a recruit.

"It was more hanging out with the guys than looking at the school," Budinger said. "The weekend was about interacting the guys and the coaches. It was a real relaxed environment."

One other benefit of the weekend was that center prospect Alex Jacobson committed to the Cats. Budinger and Jacobson know each other and the 2006 prospect was glad to hear about the 2007 recruit.

"I've known him for about a year and a half," Budinger explained. "He played on my club team. We work out together some times. He's a cool guy."

Budinger and Jacobson have played together on the SoCal All-Stars and both share the same personal trainer, Trent Suzuki. Despite the ties, Chase insists that he had little influence, if any on his future teammate. "He was pretty much set, I just nudged him a little bit," Budinger said with a chuckle. "No, he has like Arizona a long time."

For now Budinger is working hard in preparation for his senior season at La Costa Canyon High School in the San Diego area. There are a lot of eyes on the future Wildcat and he has some lofty goals before he graduates. First and foremost there's a CIF title he'd like to win and maybe a few more individual honors to take home.

A year from now Budinger will be back for Midnight Madness, only this time he'll be wearing an Arizona uniform.

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